CCTV Commissioner reveals shock at local authorities’ lack of compliance with camera surveillance standards
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Surveillance Camera Commissioner Tony Porter has recently revealed his shock that, when he came into the job, just 2% of the 433 principal local authorities complied with the recommended standards for camera surveillance.
There is believed to be 4-6 million surveillance cameras in the UK, which means people in an average town or city can be captured by 300 cameras on 30 different systems. Mr Porter said: “Since that research was done three years ago we’ve got dash cams, head cams, body-worn cameras, the Met police on their own ordered 20,000 body-worn cameras. It is a growing piece of business for all of us. However while CCTV doesn’t always prevent crime it is vital in bringing many of the perpetrators to justice.”
The commissioner, who is independent from government, published a new code of practice several weeks ago. He said: “I am entrusted to unsure that surveillance cameras are there to support communities and not spy on them. The code of practice that I oversee contains 12 guiding principles and if users effectively comply with those principles they are showing de facto that they are supporting communities and not spying on them.”
The government did not invest any powers in him – a source of concern a few years ago but two years in Mr Porter believes the government made exactly the right decision. “Because in seeking to raise and drive up standards, particularly among the relevant authorities, we are beginning to see a significant breakthrough,” he said.
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